ProjectEnd

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Tewder: There's an obvious connection between modernist architects working here today and those working in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. The principals of KPMB, for instance, all started with Barton Myers - who worked here in the '60s with others from the immediate post-WW2 years. The torch is being passed by other firms too - from Jack Diamond for one, a former Myers associate, to people who have worked for him and have now set out on their own - like Adam Thom. There is plenty of good, clean, modern design going up, in smallish infill homes as well as condos and cultural buildings with nary a historicist flourish or pippypoo appended to any of them, all over town. Other than a city hall in Mississauga, and the deco-esque towers at Brookfield Place designed by Americans, PoMo held little sway hereabouts; the claims that its advocates made in the '80s that modernism was dead have proven unfounded - look around you at what is being built. The connection is both obvious and uninterrupted.

Adam Thom? I dated his daughter for awhile a few years back.
 

adma

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Not that it isn't possible for one in his early 40s to have a dateable-age daughter. (Whether that pertains here, I don't know.)
 

taal

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This project just won't happen ... sorry folks.

Have a look at the CRBE reports in the Toronto issue's thead ... what's the driving force behind this project?

The only way I see such office developments going ahead in the next 2/3 years is if most of the building is pre-leased to *one* customer. i.e. like what we are seeing with telus or RBC.

Is there such a tenant here?
 

grey

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Well, do office properties in an area like this -- a bit outside the downtown core -- qualify as class "A" like BA, Telus, and RBC?
 

taal

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Interesting point actually ... if you had a look at the CRBE report you'd notice some good news in the sense that the vacancy rates in A (i.e. not prime AAA) office space has declined ... particularly in the area downtown outside the financial district where really only a few can afford to be in.

Curious, what type of companies usually set up shop in such developments? Do you still tend to get large blocks of office space taken by few tenants such as larger companies? Or a mixed bag of smaller tenants.

Maybe if that's the case it's more probable that projects like these can still go through.

I guess my main question is do they have a main tenant lined up? Although that probably goes back to my previous question, do such things exist with this style of development. If they don't how do they access the profitability of such a project. Like a condo where they take pre-leasing offers?
 

urbandreamer

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7 November 2008 photo update

Walking by around noon today, I snap a photo of the site.

DSC00366-1.jpg


Re: potential tenants: Cossette Communications perhaps? (Iirc, they lease space in an A.R. building on King West.)

Looks like District Lofts penthouse units lose prime eastern views....
 

digitalcabana

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New building might sit atop old building
Office tower proposed for Peter and Richmond


Natalie Alcoba, National Post
November 21, 2008

A proposed office development within sight of Queen West would build a sleek, 10-storey glass tower that hangs over the rooftop garden of the historic building below, mimicking the famous OCAD tabletop a few blocks away.

Dermot Sweeny, the chief architect of the commercial development at the corner of Richmond and Peter streets, also worked on the famous ''stilts'' design of the Ontario College of Art & Design on McCaul Street.

On Richmond, the idea is to add a 10-storey glass box atop an older brick and beam building that Allied Properties owns. It wants to convert it into a funky work space, with a rooftop garden and an enclosed atrium on the ground level. Each of the 10 floors of office space would be open in concept, said Mr. Sweeny, of Sweeny Sterling Finlayson & Co. Architects Inc.

The building is held upright with 12 vertical trusses, which are four posts that are tied together with a webbing of steel that makes it look like a crane. The trusses carry the weight of the "tabletop," which in turn manages the weight of the regular office structure above.

Mr. Sweeny called it the "the first real state-of-the-art office building" outside the financial core, with a green roof, under-floor air supply, automated blinds and 50% less energy consumption than regular office buildings.

Allied Properties is betting that there will be a strong demand for what it calls "human scale," green office space at the periphery of downtown.

"It was really the merging of the old with the new that appealed to us," said Allied Properties president and CEO Michael Emory. "We love the look of the project."

Given the economic downturn, Mr. Emory said Allied will need to have two-thirds of the space leased before it breaks ground.

"I really can't gauge now whether we'll be successful or not. Clearly, the economy is not working in our favour. However, there are a number of tenants who, in spite of this economy, do need to expand their premises," Mr. Emory said. He also noted the building would not be completed for another three years, so the project may be able to weather the economic storm.

Before it even gets that far, however, city hall has to sign off on the design.

The area is not zoned for a 17-storey building, and the team has been lobbying for support from local councillor Adam Vaughan. The project is up for approval next month.

The response at community meetings has been generally positive, said Mr. Sweeny, although "you often have a tremendous resistance to height" for any downtown development.

"Because Queen Street is very low, we've been working very hard to make the building look good from Queen.... So that it's not an eyesore.

"We absolutely believe it's a reasonable height," he said, and would act as a transition from the lower mid-rises of King Street West to the skyscrapers in the financial core.

"As we get more and more people living downtown, it's very important that we build to balance the city's economy and it's future," Mr. Sweeny said. "We've got to get more employment space."

He said high taxes, high cost of land and infrastructure issues have driven millions and millions of square feet of commercial development out of Toronto to the cheaper suburbs.

http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/toronto/story.html?id=979682
 

taal

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Is this approved?
 

Mike in TO

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The OMB has allowed an appeal by Allied Properties REIT against a decision of the committee of adjustment refusing an application for minor variances to permit development of a 16-storey office building at 134 Peter Street. The largest variance is a request to increase the permitted building height, from 30m to 72m. Other variances address the distance of setbacks and the type of loading spaces to be included in the building.

The board allowed the appeal, authorizing the variances subject to several conditions. Among the conditions is a $400,000 contribution to the city for sidewalk, laneway, parkette and social housing improvements in the area.
 

grey

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That's fantastic. This is a very cool project and I'm really glad it was approved.
 

simply Dan

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Very nice! Looks like the north side, facing Queen St W, is a bit of an afterthought, though... it would look better if the glass wraped entirely around the building.
 

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